Today,
I am the President of the United States.
Only yesterday,
I was a terrorist.
You see, I wear a turban, speak Punjabi,
and am brown-skinned.
My parents are from India,
I was born in the Greatest Nation on Earth,
Yet we both face discrimination.
No worries, no worries,
I promise a clearing in our future.
Imagine: civil rights for every race!
An end to the Arizona Immigration Law,
Which is accepted as lawful.
An end to racial profiling,
Which is only a “natural precaution”.
An end to assuming Asians are smart and Blacks are in gangs,
Which accelerates ethnic stereotypes.
Do you dare to believe?
Pain is our inspiration,
The end to racism will be achieved.

96

Today,
I am the President of the United States.
Only yesterday,
I was a just a woman.
You see, I have feminine features, paint my nails, and am expected to be a housewife.
My mother is from India,
I was born in the Greatest Nation on Earth,
Yet we both face prejudice.
No worries, no worries,
I promise a clearing in our future.
Imagine: equal representation for both genders!
An end to wondering if a woman’s body will shut down during a legitimate rape,
Which is pondered upon by many.
An end to female infanticide,
Which is grossly obscured in every country.
An end to disregarding harassment of women in the US Army,
Which has been buried for centuries.
Do you dare to believe?
Pain is our inspiration,
The end to sexism will be achieved.

Today,
I am the President of the United States.
Only yesterday,
I was a Sikh.
You see, I wear a karra, support turbans, and have long hair.
My ancestors are from India,
I was born in the Greatest Nation on Earth,
Yet we both face discrimination.
No worries, no worries,
I promise a clearing in our future.
Imagine: total separation of church and state!
An end to the ban on gay marriage,
Which is feared by religionists,
An end to be sworn into presidency through the Bible,
Which is recognized as ethical.
An end to the legal celebration of only Christian holidays,
Which is acknowledged as normal.
Do you dare to believe?
Pain is our inspiration,
The end to a theocratic America will be achieved.

Today,
I am the President of the United States.
Only yesterday,
I was a student.
You see, I study hard, write essays, and complain about homework.
My fellow classmates are from foreign countries,
I was born in the Greatest Nation on Earth,
Yet we all face prejudice.
No worries, no worries,
I promise a clearing in our future.
Imagine: equal education opportunities for all!
An end to placing immigrants at poorer schools,
Which is utterly ignored.
An end to cutting funding for education,
Which is compromised for the sake of corporations.
A final toast to new beginnings,
Which will ensure that the upcoming generation is discrimination-free.
Do you dare to believe?
Pain is our inspiration,
Pure equality will soon be achieved.

Jasjit Kaur Mundh is from San Jose and is in the 11th Grade. She is a 1st Place essay contest winner in the grade category of 9-12.

Ananya Goel is from Pleasanton and is in the 5th Grade. She is a 1st Place Art contest winner in the grade category of K-5.

President Obama has made history as our first African American and mixed-race president. As he embarks on his second term in office this year, Growing Up Asian in America contestants were asked to imagine they have become our very first Asian or Pacific Islander American president.

Growing Up Asian in America is a signature program of the Asian Pacific Fund, a Bay Area community foundation established to strengthen the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the Bay Area by increasing philanthropy and supporting the organizations that serve our most vulnerable community members. You can also view the winning entries online at www.asianpacificfund.org.

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